April 24, 2017

Frontenac Outgrows Wild Youth

The Frontenac wine grape started with a graduate student on a canoe trip.   While paddling through the suburbs of Minneapolis during 1976, a University of Minnesota graduate student named Patrick Pierquet found the wild parent of Frontenac growing along the Minnesota River.  (Pierquet is now the enology wine lab manager at Ohio State University in Wooster.) Back at the … [Read more...]

Northern Minnesota Vineyard Trial Results

Data from the first phase of a major Minnesota vineyard trial has been tabulated, according to Dennis Emslie Drummond, VESTA Coordinator at Central Lakes College in Staples, Minnesota, about 130 miles northeast of the Twin Cities.Drummond planted an experimental vineyard at Central Lakes during 2011 as part of a $203,000, four-year grant from the National Science Foundation. The project … [Read more...]

Cold Hardy Grapes Make Vivacious Verjus

The question of what to do with wine grapes from cold climate growing regions has resulted in some wonderful solutions.  The most famous example of ingenuity is the French.  They use the high acid grapes from the coldest grape growing region in their country, Champagne, to make a beverage that is known worldwide.Now a Minnesota grape grower, Chad Stoltenberg, is expanding the use cold … [Read more...]

Overuse of Multiple Trunks

When I began growing grapes in the 1970s at an experimental vineyard near my father’s orchard, it was routine to train vines to more than one trunk, a practice known today as “multiple trunks.” All the early growers used it and eastern academia generally embraced this technique as an integral element in cold climate grape culture.In truth, it was a pain to employ, as training two trunks from … [Read more...]

Using Aerial Photos to Increase Vineyard Profits

Trouble  locating  suitable  land  for  your  vines?  Not  sure  if  your  vineyard  will  get  the  maximum  amount  of   sunlight,  right  soils,  or  adequate  air  circulation?  Worried  about  harvesting  your  blocks  at  the  optimal   time  and  managing  disease?  These  questions  challenge  both  hobby  and  commercial  grape  producers.  To   help  take  the  guess-work  out  of … [Read more...]